Sunday, November 15, 2015

Climate Sunday: The Pumpkin Spice Edition

I know, regular readers of my Climate Sunday posts were probably expecting me to elaborate on the claim made in yesterday's Democratic Debate that climate change directly leads to terrorism, but I've touched on the national security risks related to climate change before, and also, Brad Plumer has written a very nice Vox 'splainer on the topic. So, I feel like I don't have to go there--instead I want to talk pumpkins.

I like them. I'm a huge fan of pumpkin seeds, pumpkin pie, assorted savory gourd preparations. But climate change and the pumpkin go together like things that don't go together. For one thing, naturally, climate matters when it comes to pumpkin crops. Just like climate change could have a lousy impact on Christmases of the future, climate change could ruin Thanksgiving. (This is something that has been known for some time.)

But wait, there's more! While climate change could cause pumpkin scarcity on one end, on the other hand, pumpkins are often completely wasted, and food waste contributes to methane as the fruit simply rots.

That doesn't seem wise.

I've never been keen on jack o'lanterns myself. When I purchase a gourd, while I may decorate it (as you can see), I pretty much intend for that food to get eaten. Sure, part of the rind is going to "waste" (likely mulch for the grapevines, even though they've gone into their winter's slumber), but the bits we don't eat for ourselves we have the tradition of cracking and leaving for deer at a local park. (Not carving them also keeps "trash pandas"--raccoons--off them until I'm ready to surrender them back to nature.)

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